This is a multifaceted question, as there are a number of considerations in choosing floors that are best for you. On the one hand you have the look and design of your home, while on the other hand you need to find a balance between aesthetics and practicality. There are plenty of arguments for which is superior, depending on where you live and the dynamics of your family unit. You will easily find plenty of opinions which align with your own, if you approach your research from a position of bias. Essentially, if you are already swaying towards timber over concrete, it’s all too easy to trust sources which confirm the opinions that you already hold. If you want to make a truly objective choice, it is best to look at the pros and cons of each and then make an informed decision based on the facts.
Pros of Choosing Floors: Timber
Timber flooring is extremely versatile. You can mix and match to suit the décor of your home, without committing to a long term change. While hard wood floors are more expensive, laminated wooden floors can produce the same effect at a fraction of the cost. Wood is warm, welcoming and the easier option when choosing floors. You have to consider, too, that choosing floors is a very personal choice. Concrete floors can often feel cold and hard on the feet, whereas timber is much warmer. Most importantly, timber floors are much easier and less costly to replace than concrete flooring. You can also lay most types of timber flooring on top of the previous flooring, without having to pay extra for labour and materials.
Cons of Timber Flooring
If you live in South Australia; termites are a legitimate threat to all things wood in your home. The last thing you want is a floor infested with termites, which will end up looking like it has been used for target practice at a shooting range. Temperature is also your enemy, as extreme weather conditions can cause wood to warp, split, change colour etc. If there is one thing that any kind of timber floor is susceptible to, it’s damage. If you have pets, kids, wear high heel shoes or are generally accident prone, your wooden floors are going to show the scars. They are loud. If you want a quiet, happy home, you should probably avoid installing timber floors throughout. On a positive con, at least you will always know if you are being burgled with timber floors.
Pros of Choosing Floors: Concrete
Concrete floors are as permanent a solution as you are going to get. Seriously, concrete floors are super durable. You could drop an anvil on a concrete floor and the damage would be minimal. As a seasonal consideration, concrete floors are much better at both retaining and releasing heat. Concrete is not a flooring type that will limit you when choosing floors. As a mixed material, you can choose the grain, colour, look and feel of your floors. Your concrete floors will not attract pests like timber floors. Termites are not interested in chomping through hard, unyielding concrete. What’s more, concrete floors are not as expensive as many hardwood timber floors, which are both hard to source and costly due to limited resources. On that note, if you are environmentally conscious, concrete floors are a much better choice for home owners who support sustainability.
Cons of Concrete Floors
One of the biggest problems that homeowners face with concrete floors is moisture damage. This can result in mould forming, if the floor is not properly treated. Concrete is a porous material, which means if you have pets or children you’re likely to find your concrete floor becomes discoloured after a period of time. As a homeowner, it is much more difficult to understand flooring guides for concrete. However, a building inspector can help you make the best choice, based on the design and location of your home.
So, before choosing between timber and concrete flooring, consider where you live, who you live with, your budget, and how likely you are to want to change your flooring. Both options can increase the value of your home. It’s just a matter of deciding which is best for you.